Dear Dr. Heller,
Is Celexa safe with Ma Huang?
Huang is an oriental herb that is a stimulant, similar to pseudoephedrine (Sudafed and
others) and caffeine. It's western name is "ephedra."
Ma Huang is likely safe if high doses are avoided or the combined use with more than a cup of coffee or two is avoided.
Ma Huang will often worsen anxiety disorders, and can be dangerous with some types of heart disease.
As far as I know there is no danger in taking Ma Huang with the SSRI class of medications, including Celexa, but there are no "controlled" studies to prove this safety.
Interestingly it has been shown that eating an apple is more effective for a burst of energy than drinking a cup of coffee. It is worth a try.